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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Former police, prosecutors ask U.S. Attorney General to respect marijuana legalization laws

A leading group of reform-minded law enforcement officials delivered a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this morning asking him to respect the voters of Washington and Colorado who decided to legalize marijuana.

The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition letter was signed by 73 current and former police officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents, including former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper. It adds to a similar request by Govs. Chris Gregoire of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, as well as 17 members of Congress, including Rep. Adam Smith, in asking Holder and the DEA to respect the  new state laws.

The LEAP letter — also signed by four other ex-law enforcement officials in Washington State —  frames an argument against intervention as a courageous moral good, invoking John Locke, the racially disproportionate arrest rates for drugs and the author of the Wickersham Commission, which led to the end of prohibition. It reads, in part:

At every crucial moment in history, there comes a time when those who derive their power from the public trust forge a new path by disavowing their expected function in the name of the greater good. This is your moment.

Comments | More in homepage, Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: initiative 502, Norm Stamper

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